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Hearing the Person with Dementia


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Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. Communication. Sometimes it's a struggle. Dementia and the brain. Exercise 1.1. 2. The Person-centred Way - VIPS. VIPS - Value. Exercise 2.1. VIPS - Individual. Exercise 2.2. VIPS - Perspective. Exercise 2.3. VIPS - Social. Exercise 2.4. 3. Components of Communication. Empathy, imagination and defensiveness. Verbal communication. Exercise 3.1. Nonverbal communication. Exercise 3.2. 4. Relating with People who Cannot Speak or Move. Managing our own needs. Exercise 4.1. 5. Specific Situations. In the shower. At mealtimes. Dressing. Going to the toilet. Going out. Getting bored. Making mistakes. Exercise 5.1. 6. Caring About You. When you have reached your limit. Staying away from your limit. Keeping up your social life. Daily routine with space for your needs. Carers get depressed sometimes. What resources do you have? Exercise 6.1. Conclusion. Appendix. Signs of well-being. Signs of ill-being. References. Index.

Promotional Information

A clear explanation of what happens to communication as dementia progresses and strategies for communicating more effectively

About the Author

Bernie McCarthy is the founder of McCarthy Psychology Services, and is a registered clinical psychologist with a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Melbourne University. He is also a Member of the Australian Psychological Society and the College of Clinical Psychologists. Bernie is a trainer in Dementia Care Mapping and conducts staff training in dementia care and other aspects of psychological wellbeing and culture change in health and aged care throughout Australia.


Every caregiver for someone aged or living with any form of dementia would benefit from reading McCarthy's book for its practical wisdom. I would also strongly recommend this book as a reference for students in allied health, aged and dementia care training programs. I imagine seeing this book sitting comfortably on a home, study or office coffee table - somewhere is easy reach! -- The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy
This book covers many important areas and succeeds in rendering care of the person with dementia in accessible language. The book is not just readable, but usable, so deserves to be readily applied in day to day care. -- metapsychology online reviews
This extremely practical book helps people involved in the care of people with dementia who are encouraged to think less about inspection procedures, commissioning and health and safety and to focus on identifying how we fee about the people we care about we are encouraged to get in touch with the emotional needs of people living with dementia. This is no sentimental thesis, but an excellent guide for families and professional caregivers to understand the communication problems which can affect someone with advance dementia. Lots of practical suggestions are included as well as the vital advice on caring for oneself. -- The International Journal of Person Centered Medicine
The fact that exercises and questions are incorporated into each chapter helps to promote the readers' understanding of the material presented by allowing them to reflect on their prior learning and apply this to real-life situations... It is(...) a useful and accessible resource for anyone who work with people with dementia as well as for family caregivers and students. -- Community Care
Imagination and empathy are commended by McCarthy as key to providing care. He rightly stresses that listening carefully to what we hear is an essential element in communication. We all live in hope that others may listen to what we mean rather than hearing only what we say. -- plus (Quarterly Magazine of Christian Council on Ageing)
This paperback is a further valuable addition to an ever-increasing market of information providing publications, and as such it is an interesting and informative read. -- Signpost
This little book is about communication. It is suitable for staff at all levels, providing sensible guidance for communicating well in the ordinary situations of daily living: showering, mealtimes, dressing, going to the toilet, going out, getting bored and making mistakes. -- Caring Times
Bernie McCarthy is a Clinical Psychologist who works in dementia care in Australia. He has been greatly influenced by Dawn Brooker (now of Worchester), Tom Kitwood and the Bradford Dementia Group. He uses their work and publications to inform his own practices in care and teaching. It is from these that he has put together this modest, readable text which contains many acknowledgements to these original thinkers and sources. -- Dementia UK
McCarthy writes in a warm personal style with a minimum of technical language even when outlining ways in which different areas of the human brain functions in everyday life. Each chapter includes an example of a real life situation someone with dementia might find themselves in and concludes with some questions for the reader to test their grasp of its contents. It is good to see that the final chapter is on the topic of caring for yourself... Imagination and empathy are commended by McCarthy as key to providing care. He rightly stresses that listening carefully to what we hear is an essential element in communication. We all live in hope that others may listen to what we mean rather than hearing only what we say. -- Christian Council on Ageing
This practical book to assist people caring for those with dementia. It covers the brain and its effect on language and behaviour in people with dementia. It talks about person-centred care and the need to be flexible to individual needs rather than apply a "one size fits all" approach... easy to read and practical... I would definitely recommend this book to anyone working in the field of dementia, whether in a paid capacity or as a friend or family member. -- Caz Thomsen, Capital and Coast District Health Board * Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work *

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